New Delhi, July 7 (PTI): Consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan today warned of a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh and a jail term if post-GST rates are not printed on the inventory in the interest of consumers.
Manufacturers have been allowed to clear the unsold stocks by September with new maximum retail price.
It is mandatory to print the revised MRP on the inventory. Failure to do so will invite stringent action, Paswan warned.
Violations of the packaged commodities rules will attract a fine of Rs 25,000 for first-time offence, Rs 50,000 for the second time and up to Rs 1 lakh for the third offence onwards and imprisonment of up to one year, he said.
In a decision unrelated to GST, the government has made it mandatory for manufacturing companies to print details like expiry date and net quantity on labels on all pre-packaged food in a "bigger font size".
The changes have been effected through an amendment to the legal metrology (packaged commodities) rules. "We have done this in the interest of consumers who should clearly be able to see the details mentioned in the label of pre-packaged food," Paswan told reporters.
Five declarations are mandatory on the label: the maximum retail price, the manufacturing date, expiry date, net quantity and consumer care details. "The size of words and numbers for mandatory declarations has been increased so that a consumer can easily read," Paswan said. At present, the declarations on the label are printed in such small fonts that consumers have complained to the government and made representation to address the issue.
Paswan said no dual MRP would be allowed and testing of net quantity and its declaration on pre-packaged food have been made more scientific in the interest of industries. "No person shall declare different MRPs on an identical pre-packaged commodity by adopting respective trade practices or unfair trade practices," he added.